Attorney General Tom Horne Announces Judgment In Latest Undercover Auto Repair "Sting"

Phoenix, AZ (Wednesday, November 27, 2013) -- Attorney General Tom Horne today announced that another auto repair “sting” has resulted in a $28,000.00 Consent Judgment against Fletcher’s Tire and Auto Service, Inc., an Arizona corporation that owns and operates multiple auto repair locations in Arizona. The Fletcher’s Gilbert location was the subject of the investigation as a result of consumer complaints.

“My office continues to conduct regular undercover auto repair ‘stings’ and this time Fletcher’s Tire and Auto took the bait,” Horne said. “Our ongoing auto sting operations are designed to identify and deter repair shops that recommend and perform unnecessary repairs, with the end result of encouraging all repair shops to behave honestly."

In its Complaint, the State alleged that:

  • On March 7, 2013, an undercover agent took a vehicle needing a minor repair to its air conditioning system to the Fletcher’s location at 1535 N. Burk Street in Gilbert;
  • The manager told the State’s undercover “consumer” that the inner seal of the compressor was leaking and recommended replacement at a cost of $900, even though no diagnostic test was performed that would show a leaking seal;
  • The non-defective compressor was replaced at a cost of $860.13. In addition to the cost of the repair, the undercover operator was charged $20 each for three supplemental parts warranties without his consent.

The Consent Judgment states that Fletcher’s violated the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act by recommending, performing and charging for the unnecessary repair to the State’s undercover vehicle, as well as charging for a part that was not actually replaced, and for adding the warranty charges without permission.

Under the terms of the Consent Judgment Fletcher’s will pay the State $20,000 in civil penalties and $8,265.63 in costs, attorneys’ fees and restitution. Fletcher’s has also agreed to voluntarily institute a “secret shopping” program designed to monitor and prevent unfair or deceptive practices, and report the results periodically to the Attorney General’s Office.

Assistant Attorney General Rebecca Salisbury handled this case.